It's the first provider to up its tariff for winter. Will Morris, managing director for retail said, "we don't take these decisions lightly", adding that the company has done what it can to keep prices down.
The hike reflects the increasing cost of buying wholesale energy, paying to deliver it to customers' homes and government-imposed levies collected through energy bills.
SSE stresses that energy efficiency can ensure rising prices don't have to mean rising bills, and that there's a lot the company can do to help concerned customers. It also highlights the role politicians could play in protecting customers by underwriting rising costs. Morris says:
Over many years policymakers themselves have failed to highlight adequately the cost to consumers of the policies they have pursued in government. They can't expect to have power stations replaced with new technologies, the network to be upgraded and nationwide energy efficiency schemes all to be funded for free. And as an energy provider we are in the unenviable position of having to pass this cost on to customers through energy bills.
Eighty five per cent of a typical energy bill is made up of costs outside our direct control and these costs have increased. So far this year we have made a loss from supplying energy as a result of the higher costs we have been facing and continue to face.